Thursday, April 15, 2010

dear sister, i hope this address is right

I was a young, bright-eyed college freshman when I snuck away from my roomies and found some alone space at the top of Dorman Hall’s stairwell. I brought my guitar, the one Dad had played in his Jesus-loving hippie revivals in Venice Beach.

My fingers strummed away, interchanging chords, hoping to find some melody to become the venue for my soul to express its pain. And I happened upon some chord pattern, just enough to write a song to my sister.

My sister whose actions told me that, although we started this journey together—

this bold adventure of following Christ at the nation’s 2nd foremost party school,

it wasn’t looking like we’d continue the journey together…

at least for now.

I sang out my hurt, I sang out my bewilderment, I sang out my sense of loss of friendship.

The chorus of my song, I fear, I’ll have the opportunity to sing time and time again:

Here we are, waiting
Waiting for you to come
And we’re all praying,
Praying that you know we still love you
And should your feet turn home--
Know we’ll meet you on that road.

Because that’s the nature of The Road.

The road that Jesus has beckoned me, and you, to, is one less traveled. Jesus himself called it “narrow,” and spoke of how so few take it.

Along the way so many different and diverse Jesus-lovers have intersected paths with mine, and I’ve learned to love and fight fair, to forgive and honor and to (I suck at this) try to put others’ wants over mine. I’ve disagreed with many—over theology and practices, stupid things and essential things—but I’ve cherished these travelers and have fought to bring myself back to a place of love.

Over the years, I’ve made indescribable and invaluable ties with the ones whose journeys have coincided with mine. Whether it’s partnering in ministry, or learning something together, or discovering that

you, too, are not alone in your struggle, 

these ties are what make The Road less lonely and less difficult. They lessen the time it takes to get back up when you stumble,

or when you stalemate. 

These ties are essential to The Road—Jesus couldn’t conceive a journey without them.

So it only makes sense that I’ll feel the pain I felt that freshman year


and again,

and again.

The beauty of my God is that he gives us choice and some of my dearest friends I’ve walked alongside






The raw emotion still resonates within, memories of others’ leaving flash before my soul’s eye, and I remember praying to discern what my role should be. Eventually, I would release them to their decision and pray God they’ll return someday.

I don’t ever want to lose this sense of loss.

I don’t want a hardened heart, one jaded by years of traveling. 

I don’t want to not feel this pain when a friend makes a detour and tells me not to follow. 

As I freely embrace the joys of following Christ—the victories and celebrations and freedom-stories—may I freely embrace its sorrows.

Because that’s the nature of The Road.

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